What we're about

I want to thank you for signing up to be a part of the The Never Travel Solo Social Club Meetup group. It's hard to believe it's been almost 9 years since I first started the group and did our first group trip, way back in January 2012. There have been so many trips over the years and so many great friendships have blossomed. My motto for the group is "a week of travel, a lifetime of friendships." and many of our members have looked forward to traveling with friends they've made over the years.

I've put together some FAQs to hopefully answer the questions that most of you have.

Who is the Main Organizer?

My name is Paul Cathcart. Feel free to check me out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/paul.cathcart.3rd/ ­­. Hard to believe but I've been a Meetup member since 2003, almost since the beginning. During that time I've been both a member and Assistant Organizer in many different groups and I've attended over 2,500+ events, organized 1,500+ events, and put together dozens of trips visiting dozens of countries. Personally, I'm a part of the Century Club having visited 100+ countries and I've been on 77 cruises.

Are you a travel agent?

Yes, I'm a full-time travel agent and I have my own multi-million dollar agency with 35 people that work for me. I left a full-time career as an IT consultant to pursue my biggest passion and I've been quite successful in building an award winning travel agency and I've received much recognition along the way, both for my agency as well as myself personally.

I think this brings some distinct advantage to running our trips. I have connections in the places we travel, I attend industry events where I meet with local suppliers, and if things go wrong, I have the knowledge and experience to solve the situation quickly.

Also, this means that I will keep this Meetup group going and won't charge members a fee. Over the years I've seen at least 150+ travel Meetup groups come and go and some charge a fee to cover their costs. My one biggest complaint about these groups is they usually don't travel. They sit around and talk about travel and I want to get out and see the world.

Why did you start this group?

Travel is my biggest passion in life (along with food and wine) and I love to share that passion with others. I've been very fortunate to have traveled very extensively but there's so much more of the world I want to visit. My goal is to travel to every country and every UNESCO Heritage site.

When I started trying to find friends to go with me, most didn't have the time and/or the money. Other people I talked to were telling me the same thing so I decided to start a Meetup group dedicated to helping people find trips where they could go with others in a similar situation. Never Travel Solo was born and my goal is to explore at least two new countries per year, if not more. I want to try to keep the trips as affordable as possible because a lot of group travel out there is quite pricey! Also, I wanted to help people avoid the dreaded single supplement and find a roommate to travel with.

Most of our trips will be priced around $1,999 - $2,199 per person double occupancy. However, we have started doing unique luxury trips such as our Private Villa trips that will be at a higher price point, usually between $2,999 - $3,499 per person double occupancy. Keep in mind that even those trips are more expensive, they are still thousands lower if you can find a similar trip with another company.

I've also partnered with my sister company that specializes in singles cruises to offer everyone both land trips as well as cruises.

Whether you are single, solo, or a couple looking to find new friends to explore the world with, we will bring you together on vacation so that you never have to travel solo again. We seek to have "a week of travel, a lifetime of friendships".

Are our trips guaranteed to go?

Most of our trips are a definite go. I don't like requiring a minimum number but sometimes I have to, such as renting a private villa in Tuscany. If this is the case, I will give a definite answer at 4 months out on the departure availability to leave people time to find decent priced airfare. Also, when you make the deposit, I'll let you know the status of the trip.

How do you pick which trips we do?

All of our trips will either be a trip that I've done and love and want to share with others or a brand new destination I explored. For places that I've never been, I personally go there and check out the hotels, tour operators, attractions, sites, restaurants, etc.. I work with other expert travel agents familiar with the area, the tourism bureau, and local suppliers and guides. I get to know the place intimately before we even get there.

No matter whether it's a new destination or someplace I've been to dozens of times, I always go in at least a couple of days early to ensure that the trip runs perfectly. I'll go over the itinerary in case of any last minute changes or closures, meet with any guides or suppliers we're using, and get everything ready to make our trip go as smoothly as possible.

If you have a trip you want me to put together for the group, please contact me and I'll see about getting it on the schedule. I welcome any and all suggestions.

How do you determine the itinerary?

First, most of our trips will be in one location/city. I've done the "9 cities/4 countries in 10 days" trips before and while that was enjoyable, I prefer a more relaxed type of travel now.

I try to include as many of the popular tourist attractions and sites as possible on our itinerary without having people feel that the trip is crammed or rushed.

I always leave at least one full day as a free day so that you can explore on your own or with others in your group. Also, there will be other time throughout the trip to be on your own.

One important note about our trips. It's always the number of days that I have listed. A lot of suppliers will list a 7 day trip as a 9 day trip because they'll count the day you fly in and the day you leave. I will never do that so keep that in mind when you book or look at other trips.

How do you determine the trip price?

For the most part, I'll try to keep our 7 day trips between $1,999 - $2,199 per person mark land-only. Longer trips as well as our luxury and villa trips will be priced more but still will be thousands less than similar trips with other travel companies. Plus, our trips provide a great value and include things like transfers to and from the arrival and departure airports (for the most part); gratuities for guides, drivers, maid service, chefs; metro tickets in cities if available; and don't have a lot of "optional" tours that you need to pay for.

If you've ever looked at group travel before, my prices will always be less or similar to what the large, impersonal, 50+ people on a large motorcoach tours are. For small, 15 - 25 person group led trips, the prices will be significantly less. If you've ever looked at those trips, they are quite pricey because the supplier has to make double to triple per person to have the same profit as the large group trips.

Please note that for the most part, I'll be paying the same price as everyone else. Very rarely on these trips have I received a discount or a freebie, though I won't turn them down if I'm offered. The point of these trips isn't so much to make money but to offer a way for people to connect through travel.

Will your trips include air?

Unfortunately no. I've done one trip that included air and it was a complete disaster. People ended up using miles and taking other flights than the one the group was on and I barely ended up being able to sell every ticket.

Also, this requires me to sign a contract to purchase a minimum of 10 air tickets. If I don't sell them, I'm still responsible for paying for them so I'm completely on the hook for the entire cost.

Finally, since we partner with other Meetup groups around the country, people are coming from different cities for these trips so we won't all be leaving from the same airport.

How do you pick the hotel(s)?

With hotels, my goal is to find a clean, reasonably-priced hotel that is as conveniently located as possible to the downtown location of the city that we're in. If I can, I will try to find a hotel that includes complimentary breakfast. My main goal is the price because that is a major portion of the trip price and our single supplement cost.

What is a single supplement and why do we have one?

Many people misunderstand what a single supplement is. When two people travel, they split the costs of a hotel. When one person stays in that same hotel, they pay for the entire room themselves.

For example, if a hotel room costs $1,400 for a week, two people would pay $700 each and the one person would pay $1,400. So the single person would pay $700 more for the room than the two people who shared a room. I try as hard as possible to keep our hotel room costs to under $200 per night so that the single supplement isn't too high for those that want their own room.

Do you offer roommate matching?

As long as you're a non-smoker, I will match you to a same sex roommate on most of our land-only trips. If this is offered for the trip, it will be listed in the inclusions.

If I can't find a roommate for you, I'll pay the single supplement out of my own pocket. I don't ever want not having a roommate and not wanting to pay for your own room to keep one of our members from taking a trip.

How many people go on each trip?

It varies by trip with some as low as 10 people to as many as 35 people on our land trips to hundreds in our cruise groups. I want most trips to be around 20 people because it's easier to travel with less people and it gives you a chance to know everyone in the group.

Do you include meals?

If I can find a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast and works for our trip, I will book that for us. However, a lot of hotels charge for breakfast and it can be quite expensive. For example, some hotels in Hawaii charged between $20 - $30 per person per day. It's much cheaper to eat elsewhere and I would rather keep the trip price lower than pass along those costs to everyone.

For lunch and dinner, it's hard to get everyone to agree on one restaurant and the costs are extremely variable. I've tried in the past to include this but way too many people complained. I will point out places to eat in each location that won't run you a lot of money.

For the most part, we'll break into smaller groups at dinner and check out the local scene.

How do deposits and payments work?

For the most part, deposits and payments become non-refundable once I receive them. I use the deposits to pay for the supplier deposits and if I can, I try to book the lowest rate possible and that is usually non-refundable. I don't like to wait because hotel prices can go up significantly the closer we get to the travel date.

Deposits are due at the time of booking the trip.

Final payment is due between 90 - 120 days before our travel date. I'll usually have to have payments in to all of the suppliers for our trip by that point in time to ensure that we can reserve the dates and times that we want.

Your trips are SOLD OUT so quickly!

My trips tend to be quite popular and since they're small groups, they can sell out quite quickly. Trips have sold out in the first hour they've went live in the past and the majority will sell out months in advance, usually well before final payment.

I give priority notice to people who have traveled with the group in the past as well as those in the Facebook group ( https://www.facebook.com/events/524912418370372 ). If I know that a trip is going to be sold out I will, when possible, plan to offer the exact same trip right after the sold out trip.

What trips have you done in the past?

Among the many trips has been Iceland, United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Germany for Oktoberfest, Hawaii, Thailand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Vietnam, France, 4 private villa trips in Tuscany, and dozens of cruises.

What are your plans for upcoming trips?

We have plans for two amazing private villa trips, one in the Amalfi Coast and one in the French Riviera. Plus, Greece, a South African safari, and cruises at least every month. Finally, an amazing 13 day cruise to Antarctica, the ultimate bucket list trip, which is SOLD OUT!

We will update our website with all of this information soon.

Again, if you have a trip you want me to put together for the group, please contact me and I'll see about getting it on the schedule. I welcome any and all suggestions.

Where can I find more information on your trips and on you?

http://nevertravelsolo.com/ - Our website goes into anal detail about all of our scheduled trips, with painstaking detail about the itinerary, the inclusions and exclusions, any important notes, and a trip overview including arrival and departure cities, the places visited, prices and deposits, and my contact information. Almost every question can be answered about a trip by visiting the specific trip page on the website.

https://www.facebook.com/NeverTravelSolo/ - Our Facebook page. I haven't been very active on social media but I will be more active in the future. You'll be able to follow me as I explore new destinations and as our groups travel on their trips.

https://www.facebook.com/events/524912418370372 - Our Facebook group. This is where I will make first announcements on all future trips. Being a part of this group will allow you to be among the first group of people notified when a new trip goes live.

https://www.facebook.com/paul.cathcart.3rd/ - My personal Facebook page. I'm usually extremely active but I've been quiet for a while now. It's been a difficult year to be in the travel industry and I've been kept quite busy, keeping me away from Facebook.

CONTACT ME

Hopefully this email answered a lot of questions about the group but if you have other questions or if you need to reach me, please see my contact information below.

Thanks...

Paul Cathcart
https://www.facebook.com/paul.cathcart.3rd/
­ (https://www.facebook.com/paul.cathcart.3rd) contact@nevertravelsolo.com
(571) 318-9252

Upcoming events (4+)

Amalfi Coast Private Villa - Week 1 - SOLD OUT

Needs a location

Complete trip details are on our website :

http://nevertravelsolo.com/Land-20220910.php

To book this trip or if you have any questions please contact Paul at [masked] or (571)[masked].

  • Never Travel Solo host onsite during the trip.
  • 7 nights accommodations at our private 12 bedroom villa
  • Tours and admissions for all attractions listed on the itinerary.
  • 4 lunches.
  • 4 dinners.
  • Transfers to/from Naples Airport (NAP) and group villa.
  • Path Of The Gods Hike
  • Capri Sailing
  • Blue Grotto (weather permitting)
  • Pompeii Tour
  • Lemon Grove Tour
  • Limoncello Tasting
  • Amalfi Coast Boat Ride
  • Amalfi Tour
  • Ravello Tour
  • All taxes, fees, surcharges, and currency fluctuations.

Brief daily schedule. Complete schedule in on our website.

September 10, 2022 (Saturday) - Arrival Day / Group Dinner (Villa)

September 11, 2022 (Sunday) - Path Of The Gods Hike / Positano (Villa)

September 12, 2022 (Monday) - Capri (Villa)

September 13, 2022 (Tuesday) - Sorrento / Lemon Grove Tour / Limoncello Tasting (Villa)

September 14, 2022 (Wednesday) - Pompeii Tour (Villa)

September 15, 2022 (Thursday) - Amalfi Coast Boat Ride (Villa)

September 16, 2022, 2121 (Friday) - Amalfi / Ravello (Villa)

September 17, 2022 (Saturday) - Departure Day

We offer complimentary roommate matching as long as you're a complete non-smoker/non-tobacco user (including vaping) and you book at least 120 days prior to the trip start date. After that point it is subject to availability at the time of your reservation. Don't let not having a roommate keep you from coming on this trip!

The accommodations, activities, and other inclusions and/or their order may change and/or be cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control and/or for any other reason we deem necessary. In the event this occurs, we will try our best to arrange similar accommodations, activities, and other inclusions.

Depending on the size of our group, some and/or all of our activities may be part of a larger public tour group.

Some parts of this trip requires extensive walking (5 miles or more over the course of the day as well as uphill/downhill climbing on cobblestone or non-stable pathways).

Should Italy restrict access to United States citizens from entering the country there will be a complete refund of all monies paid for the trip (less Paypal fees). If you choose not to go you will not be entitled to a refund.

Please note that masks might be required to be worn while touring. We will need to abide by the current recommendations from the Italian government, the cities that we are touring, and the suppliers we're using.

Please note that entry into Italy might require a vaccination, negative COVID test, or a combination of both.

Amalfi Coast Private Villa - Week 2 - SOLD OUT

Needs a location

Complete trip details are on our website :

http://nevertravelsolo.com/Land-20220917.php

To book this trip or if you have any questions please contact Paul at [masked] or (571)[masked].

  • Never Travel Solo host onsite during the trip.
  • 7 nights accommodations at our private 12 bedroom villa
  • Tours and admissions for all attractions listed on the itinerary.
  • 4 lunches.
  • 4 dinners.
  • Transfers to/from Naples Airport (NAP) and group villa.
  • Path Of The Gods Hike
  • Capri Sailing
  • Blue Grotto (weather permitting)
  • Pompeii Tour
  • Lemon Grove Tour
  • Limoncello Tasting
  • Amalfi Coast Boat Ride
  • Amalfi Tour
  • Ravello Tour
  • All taxes, fees, surcharges, and currency fluctuations.

Brief daily schedule. Complete schedule in on our website.

September 17, 2022 (Saturday) - Arrival Day / Group Dinner (Villa)

September 18, 2022 (Sunday) - Path Of The Gods Hike / Positano (Villa)

September 19, 2022 (Monday) - Capri (Villa)

September 20, 2022 (Tuesday) - Sorrento / Lemon Grove Tour / Limoncello Tasting (Villa)

September 21, 2022 (Wednesday) - Pompeii Tour (Villa)

September 22, 2022 (Thursday) - Amalfi Coast Boat Ride (Villa)

September 23, 2022, 2121 (Friday) - Amalfi / Ravello (Villa)

September 24, 2022 (Saturday) - Departure Day

We offer complimentary roommate matching as long as you're a complete non-smoker/non-tobacco user (including vaping) and you book at least 120 days prior to the trip start date. After that point it is subject to availability at the time of your reservation. Don't let not having a roommate keep you from coming on this trip!

The accommodations, activities, and other inclusions and/or their order may change and/or be cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control and/or for any other reason we deem necessary. In the event this occurs, we will try our best to arrange similar accommodations, activities, and other inclusions.

Depending on the size of our group, some and/or all of our activities may be part of a larger public tour group.

Some parts of this trip requires extensive walking (5 miles or more over the course of the day as well as uphill/downhill climbing on cobblestone or non-stable pathways).

Should Italy restrict access to United States citizens from entering the country there will be a complete refund of all monies paid for the trip (less Paypal fees). If you choose not to go you will not be entitled to a refund.

Please note that masks might be required to be worn while touring. We will need to abide by the current recommendations from the Italian government, the cities that we are touring, and the suppliers we're using.

Please note that entry into Italy might require a vaccination, negative COVID test, or a combination of both.

Amalfi Coast Private Villa - Week 3 - 4 SPACES LEFT

Needs a location

Complete trip details are on our website :

http://nevertravelsolo.com/Land-20220924.php

To book this trip or if you have any questions please contact Paul at [masked] or (571)[masked].

  • Never Travel Solo host onsite during the trip.
  • 7 nights accommodations at our private 12 bedroom villa
  • Tours and admissions for all attractions listed on the itinerary.
  • 4 lunches.
  • 4 dinners.
  • Transfers to/from Naples Airport (NAP) and group villa.
  • Path Of The Gods Hike
  • Capri Sailing
  • Blue Grotto (weather permitting)
  • Pompeii Tour
  • Lemon Grove Tour
  • Limoncello Tasting
  • Amalfi Coast Boat Ride
  • Amalfi Tour
  • Ravello Tour
  • All taxes, fees, surcharges, and currency fluctuations.

Brief daily schedule. Complete schedule in on our website.

September 24, 2022 (Saturday) - Arrival Day / Group Dinner (Villa)

September 25, 2022 (Sunday) - Path Of The Gods Hike / Positano (Villa)

September 26, 2022 (Monday) - Capri (Villa)

September 27, 2022 (Tuesday) - Sorrento / Lemon Grove Tour / Limoncello Tasting (Villa)

September 28, 2022 (Wednesday) - Pompeii Tour (Villa)

September 29, 2022 (Thursday) - Amalfi Coast Boat Ride (Villa)

September 30, 2022, 2121 (Friday) - Amalfi / Ravello (Villa)

October 1, 2022 (Saturday) - Departure Day

We offer complimentary roommate matching as long as you're a complete non-smoker/non-tobacco user (including vaping) and you book at least 120 days prior to the trip start date. After that point it is subject to availability at the time of your reservation. Don't let not having a roommate keep you from coming on this trip!

The accommodations, activities, and other inclusions and/or their order may change and/or be cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control and/or for any other reason we deem necessary. In the event this occurs, we will try our best to arrange similar accommodations, activities, and other inclusions.

Depending on the size of our group, some and/or all of our activities may be part of a larger public tour group.

Some parts of this trip requires extensive walking (5 miles or more over the course of the day as well as uphill/downhill climbing on cobblestone or non-stable pathways).

Should Italy restrict access to United States citizens from entering the country there will be a complete refund of all monies paid for the trip (less Paypal fees). If you choose not to go you will not be entitled to a refund.

Please note that masks might be required to be worn while touring. We will need to abide by the current recommendations from the Italian government, the cities that we are touring, and the suppliers we're using.

Please note that entry into Italy might require a vaccination, negative COVID test, or a combination of both.

South Korea - APRIL 2023 - TRIP INTEREST - TENTATIVE DATES

Needs a location

TRIP NOTICE WILL GO TO THOSE ON THE PRE-NOTIFICATION LIST FIRST. TO GET ON THE PRE-NOTIFICATION LIST PLEASE EMAIL PAUL AT [masked] STATING YOUR INTEREST IN THIS TRIP.

My plan is to visit in March / April 2022 and put out the trip when I return.

I know that 2023 seems to be a lifetime away but I'm looking at my schedule of where to explore for the group in the next 12 - 18 months and what trips everyone will be interested in.

I've always wanted to take a group to my birth country of South Korea.

This will be a very small group tour of 10 - 12 people and trip price will be in the $2,199 - $2,399 per person double occupancy range. I'm working on the itinerary and we'll visit Seoul, Busan, and another city taking the train and public metro system.

5

Past events (123)

South Africa - Cape Town and Safari Camp - SOLD OUT

Needs a location

Photos (103)